Dear Prudence

The Story Behind the Song

Non-Fiction - Memoir
240 Pages
Reviewed on 09/12/2018
Buy on Amazon

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Review Exchange Program, which is open to all authors and is completely free. Simply put, you agree to provide an honest review an author's book in exchange for the author doing the same for you. What sites your reviews are posted on (B&N, Amazon, etc.) and whether you send digital (eBook, PDF, Word, etc.) or hard copies of your books to each other for review is up to you. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email, and be sure to describe your book or include a link to your Readers' Favorite review page or Amazon page.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Steve Leshin for Readers' Favorite

Dear Prudence: The Story Behind the Song by Prudence Farrow Bruns is a personal memoir about growing up with an exceptional family ensconced in the 1940s-1950s Hollywood lifestyle up through the culture of the 1960s and beyond. Most importantly, it is the personal growth of Prudence Farrow. As the title states, the author is the subject of the song “Dear Prudence” by the Beatles and recorded on their famous “White Album”. How she became an inspiration for the fab four to pen the song is deftly chronicled by the author, complete with pictures of the Farrow family.

As a life-long Beatles' fan, I am familiar with the song “Dear Prudence”. Before I read this book I knew it was about a real person, possibly Mia Farrow, who was known to accompany the Beatles on their visit to the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in the late ‘60s. Prudence is a real person all right, as the reader will discover in this book. Prudence paints a tapestry of life as one of seven children born to a famous actress, Maureen O’Sullivan, (she was Jane in the early Tarzan movies) and director, actor and writer, John Farrow (Around the World in Eighty Days). Why Prudence as a name? As she tells it, her father named her after a long-lost aunt from Australia. We find out later, the aunt never existed. The angst of growing up with famous parents and her older sibling, Mia Farrow, contributed to her struggles with adolescence, with the family constant traveling due to tax laws, and John Farrow’s movie locations in exotic parts of the world. We find out how Maureen O’Sullivan is discovered and we are introduced to Prudence’s very eccentric grandmother.

As a teen, Prudence discovers alcohol, drugs and LSD, whatever was available at the time. Raised a Catholic in a very religious family, her hunt for spirituality and peace would not come easily. With unfiltered candor, she takes the reader through her complicated relationship with her mother and father, her spoiled rich kid phase, her struggles with religion, years of treatment for mental illness and her experiments with mind-bending drugs. She admits her sibling rivalry with older sister Mia Farrow and gives an honest depiction of her stint in different boarding schools. Without giving too much away, let us say we find out how the song “Dear Prudence” came to be, her inside observations of John Lennon and George Harrison while in India with the Maharishi, and how she found redemption through the power of TM (Transcendental Meditation).